Written by: Greg Ellifritz
On New Year’s Eve an Islamic terrorist attacked a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey. He fired 180 rounds with an AK-47. Some sources stated he also threw hand grenades. His attack resulted in 39 dead and more than 70 wounded. The Turkish government has ordered a media blackout of the event and the only information coming out is from official governmental sources. It’s sparse, but yields some insights. Here are a few of my thoughts about the attack.
1).The cop and security personnel guarding the venue were shot immediately. If you are working “security,” you really need to be switched on.
Watch the video of the initial attack below. You’ll see the killer firing the first shots (at vehicles on the roadway) as he was running up to the nightclub entrance. Within four seconds, he was firing on the security guards and the patrons waiting outside.
These folks literally had four seconds to react before being killed. The security did not react quickly enough. Both the cop and the security staff members were shot.
Lots of terrorists and active killers are now preemptively planning to take out any security at their targets. If you are said “security,” you better have your head in the game. We don’t know how many people waiting in line at the door were killed, but the number is likely fairly high. If you are attending an event that has the potential to be a terrorist target, don’t get corralled into large, immobile groups. Get through whatever entrance process is in place as quickly as possible and get inside.
2.The gunman initially passed up individuals to target large groups of people where he could rack up a high body count. Put yourself in the position of the man crawling on the floor at the entrance. What would you do?
It appears that the man escaped the terrorist’s notice and survived the initial fusillade. What would you do then if you were him? Would you attack the terrorist from behind? Flee? Play dead? Think it through in advance.
I wouldn’t advise playing dead. In this event, like many other active killer attacks (Orlando and Virginia Tech, for example), the killer went back through the injured and “dead” victims laying on the floor. He shot those folks in the head. Playing dead isn’t a good strategy.
If you were armed and choose to attack the terrorist, how would you ensure that you aren’t mistaken for a second attacker by other security staff or responding cops? If you were unarmed or only had a knife, how would you make your attack?
3) The gunman left his AK-47 on the floor of the club when he fled. Have you considered how you would deal with that issue if you were a surviving victim inside? Do you know how to use an AK? Would you pick up the gun and go hunting? Guard the weapon so no one else grabbed it? Distance yourself from the dropped gun?
You could make a case for any of these actions. It really depends on the circumstances. There are dangers involved in each choice. Again, it’s best that you think this issue through in advance.
4) The terrorist escaped by changing his clothes and pretending to be a wounded bystander. As a cop responding to this scene, what could you do to prevent that from happening? As a victim, how could you best relay this information to the police?
5) The attack lasted 13 minutes. The police made no effort to make entry when the bullets were flying. I guess the Turkish national police didn’t get the memo about sending every available officer into the scene to kill the terrorist as quickly as possible. Some folks have hinted that the terrorist received some “help” from the highest ranks of the national police staff who may have ordered cops not to make entry during the shooting. Whether this is a case of a corrupt and paid-off police force or just merely incompetent police training and command, it really makes no difference.
You are on your own. Don’t count on the cops coming in and rescuing you. It may never happen. Recognize that now and figure out what you’ll need to do to keep yourselves and your family members alive during an attack like this.